Nate Noncent, a senior health sciences major at Quinnipiac, works on his smart walker, a responsive walker that senses obstacles and has an auto-braking system, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016 in the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the School of Business on the university's Mount Carmel Campus.  (Autumn Driscoll / Quinnipiac University)

The People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

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The People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship strives to support the determination and goals of students and entrepreneurs at Quinnipiac. It is the ideal creative space to dream up, research and turn great ideas into viable business solutions with the potential to go to market.

What We Do

Putting entrepreneurial spirit into practice

Businessman, philanthropist and Quinnipiac trustee Carlton Highsmith believes that the great equalizer in American society consists of equal parts education, innovation and entrepreneurship. Thanks to the support of Quinnipiac’s nationally recognized School of Business and our partnership with People’s United Bank, we are able to fully realize that vision.

The People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship is a versatile and collaborative incubator for students, staff and faculty across Quinnipiac’s 8 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences to pursue their original entrepreneurial ventures. The center taps into the expertise and advanced research capabilities of experienced business professionals. It provides advisory services and workshops in legal, finance, research, marketing, design, business plan development and start-up mentoring, as well as access to business capital.

Our team consists of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, alumni mentors and other friends of the university. Each of us shares both the entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to making the center the ideal space for tackling each phase in the lifecycle of an idea, from brainstorming to meeting potential investors.


Join the Weekly QU Pitch Competition

Students from across the university pitched innovative business concepts to a panel of guest judges last spring — and walked away with a total of $6,000 in prizes. We invite you to review their ideas — as well as new ones that have been developed since — and offer constructive feedback with other entrepreneurs, industry leaders and influencers.

Undergraduate and graduate students considering participating in the spring pitch competition may use the workshop series as a place to sharpen their communication skills and develop their value proposition. Anyone may participate; making a pitch is not required.

The QU Pitch Forum takes place on Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m., beginning Oct. 2 in the People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (SB-109).

Please RSVP and share this exciting news with your most creative friends. All are welcome regardless of major or school at Quinnipiac. Pizza will be served.

The Pitch Competition

Pitch competition helps students transform ideas into reality

Students had the opportunity to take their business to the next level. The People's United Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship invited all students to make a pitch for cash prizes to help get their entrepreneurship idea off the ground. The center awarded $5,000 in total cash prizes to three Quinnipiac students with the best pitches — based on concept, market analysis, competition and revenue model. CrowdPlay, a free gaming application for IOS devices designed by Andrew Pizzi '19 and Dan Picone '19, and alumnus Mike Cusano '14, won the $3,000 grand prize.

Three men hold the check.

Making an impact

Andrew Pizzi '19, left, and alumni Mike Cusano, right, accept a $3,000 check from Fred McKinney, director of the People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Quinnipiac. Pizzi and Cusano won a pitch competition for CrowdPlay, an in-stadium app that enhances the fan experience at sporting events.

Guest judges

  • Garrett Sheehan, president and CEO of Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce
  • Anthony Price, president and CEO of Loot Scout
  • Sharon Mwale, program manager of Health Venture

Pitch Competition Photo Gallery

Past Events

Inaugural Speaker Series

The People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship hosted its inaugural Speaker Series January 23-May 1. The series featured corporate innovators, entrepreneurs, Quinnipiac alumni, public and private sector support organizations and experts who focus on financing entrepreneurial start-ups.

The series sought create a vibrant and entrepreneurial on-campus community, provide inspiration for Quinnipiac entrepreneurs (faculty, staff and students), and share information to assist budding innovators in attaining their goals.

Learn more about the Speaker Series events (PDF)
Cover of speaker series brochure, shows 3 pictures of past events and entrepreneurs

Reception to celebrate re-opening of innovation center

On Wednesday, October 24, 2018, the university hosted a reception to celebrate the re-opening of the People's United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The event was hosted by Matthew O’Connor, Dean of the Quinnipiac School of Business, and Fred McKinney, Carlton Highsmith Chair of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Special guests included Judy Olian, President of Quinnipiac University, Carlton Highsmith, Vice Chairman of the Quinnipiac Board of Trustees, and Jeff Tengel, President of People’s United Bank.

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Fred McKinney stands behind a podium with the Quinnipiac People's United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship logo.

Inspiring words

Fred McKinney, the Carlton Highsmith Chair of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Quinnipiac University, speaks at the re-opening of The People's United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Lender School of Business Center

Contact Us

Fred McKinney
Carlton Highsmith Chair of Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Director of the People’s United Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Hanna Hejmowski, Director of Operations
Central European Institute
People's United Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
People's United Center for Women & Business
Global Asset Management Education (GAME) Forum